Over the past two summers, Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving has handled wild rumors and debates from the media with class.
A year removed from Kyrie Irving stating his desire to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the media continues to badger him about it. ESPN reported that while at a Q&A in Manhattan for his new movie, “Uncle Drew”, the Boston Celtics point guard was asked a question about whether or not he cares about newly drafted Cavalier Colin Sexton wearing his old number two uniform.
"“Let him wear the number, it doesn’t matter,” Irving stated."
The question asked by this reporter remains hollow and pointless, and Kyrie is too considerate to realize that. For whatever reason, the media continues to try and “poke at the bear,” waiting for Irving to burst into a rant during an interview, hoping he will blatantly disclose every little reason why he left the best player on the planet back in 2017.
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The problem however; the star player is not as outspoken as LeBron, or dismissive as Kevin Durant. He’s just professional.
Interestingly enough, devious questions like these have become the norm for Kyrie’s career over the past year and a half.
First Take debate
One of my favorite moments following the Irving trade happened to occur in ESPN First Take, where immediately following his arrival in Boston, Irving appeared on the show giving cryptic answers to both Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith.
First Take is basically a reality show at this point (watch some of their past interviews on Youtube), commonly attempting to uncover the hottest gossip in sports. Despite that reputation, Irving doesn’t bite, and instead focuses on bluntly stating his personal desires. One can assume LeBron played an integral part in Kyrie’s insistence to leave.
Regardless, Kellerman and Smith approached the four-time All Star aggressively. Kyrie answers all of their questions with poise, dodging every pursuit from both TV personalities to make up a silly story. Kellerman literally accuses Kyrie of putting his own personal endeavors in front of a championship run, all because of Irving’s passionate yearning to better himself as a player.
On the contrast
On the other hand, Jackie MacMullan wrote a fantastic piece back in January, giving people a more introspective look into the life of the 2016 NBA champion. Macmullan, a respected ESPN journalist, carefully dissected every facet of Irving’s career with great detail. Kyrie opened up more, giving fans insightful information about his early childhood growing up, and how it relates to his present day choices. Rather than aggressively attack Kyrie, Macmullan delves deeper into the different angles of the situation.
The article was a sweet surprise, and Macmullan found everything fans needed, from locker room interviews, to other knowledge regarding his state of mind when he left Cleveland. At the end of the day, Irving was just unhappy. Macmullan interviewed Irving because she’s a diehard NBA fan, not because she wanted to pull some fabricated narrative out of him.
Why does there always have to be something else? Why does it matter if some rookie wears one of the most common numbers in professional competition?
Nowadays, people want drama, not facts. Sports journalism has seemingly become that. The summer is the perfect time for drama to incur, especially with baseball being the only major American sport in progress at the moment. The expense is costly though, because guys like Kyrie will never explain anything without trust.
Heck, only recently did fans get a glimpse into the mostly secretive career of Durant, mainly because Zach Lowe (again, another respected journalist) interviewed the star. Prior to that, Durant kept his personal life private because of ignorant questions during press conferences while with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
LeBron continues to be very open with his own life, so most of his career is already on the table. Irving is not as outspoken, but his migration from Cleveland to Boston became a newsworthy incident. Nonetheless, Kyrie did not want to make it one.
Even now, there’s been some ridiculous stories written about him, stating he wants out of Boston. Jason McIntyre recently went on Colin Cowherd’s radio show and explained why Kyrie would be a perfect fit with Dwight Howard in Brooklyn next year. Yikes.
The funny thing is Irving has not said anything about leaving the Boston Celtics, only the fact that he probably won’t sign an extension. The only reason he’s even doing that is because he just came back from an injury. His goal right now is winning a championship, not signing some dumb contract when he has minimal leverage at the moment.
Unfortunately, many journalists still think there is more to the story of Kyrie Irving. The current Celtic refuses to blow any situation up into a large conundrum, so the media attempts to paint some type of false depiction.
So far, they’ve failed because of Kyrie’s insistence in staying true to himself, something a lot of athletes can mirror. With the release of “Uncle Drew” this weekend, Irving will continue to be in the spotlight for the foreseeable future.
Whether or not the media continues to bring up his undying past, Kyrie will be chasing a title as a member of the Boston Celtics for the 2018-2019 season.
Let’s just worry about that.